The streak is over for the Panthers — and a missed opportunity by star center Sasha Barkov will go down as the “what-if” play of the night.
Matt Duchense and Magnus Paajarvi scored two goals each as the Ottawa Senators snapped Florida’s franchise-record eight-game home winning streak with a 5-3 win on Monday night at BB&T Center.
Barkov nearly gave the Panthers their first lead of the game when he got a breakaway, shorthanded attempt with 5:51 left in the third period. But Barkov failed to fool Ottawa goalie Craig Anderson, a Broward County resident and a former Panther.
After Barkov came up empty, Duchense and Alexandre Burrows scored to snap that 3-3 tie. Despite the loss, the Panthers are still firmly in playoff contention due to a 15-4-1 stretch since Jan. 30.
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Florida’s goals were scored by Evgenii Dadonov, who celebrated his 29th birthday with his 16th goal in his past 26 games, rookie defenseman Mike Matheson, who netted his 10th of the season; and Jonathan Huberdeau, who has a career-best 23 goals.
Anderson made 32 saves against his former team. He improved to 20-20-6 this season. In his career against the Panthers, he is 15-7-2.
Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo (20 saves) took the loss. The Panthers got second-line winger Denis Malgin back from a knee injury, which cost him seven games.